Writer's block is a typical part of being a journalist, or even a student for that matter, but you can take certain steps to work your way over the mental halt you may find yourself in.Photo Credit: Bserat Ghebremicael
Lately, my life has been rather slow and lacking excitement. The buzz of summer is starting to fade and the humdrum routine of school is beginning to sink in. Typically, I have too many options to choose from on my list of “Columns To Write,” but right now my mind is drawing a blank due to the lack of anything interesting to write about. Sure, college application deadlines are around the corner and the next round of SATs are approaching, but I’ve found many of my stories are similar to these topics and I like to keep it unique.
I want my articles, class essays, and college entry essays to be catchy and, somewhat, brilliant. Therefore, I declare this my process of “What To Write,” in case of any other emergencies regarding writer’s block and you too can follow these simple steps in order to come across a decent topic to write about.
1. What is going on around me?
My home life is never boring, but how many times have I written about that? Maybe if my little brother suddenly learns how to fly then I can find a way to write something less lackluster. It was funny for a while, but sometimes I find myself overusing the amusing antics of my home life.
School is simply repetitive. Notes, tests, quizzes, presentations, drama, club meetings, homework, and so on all take part in the constant factors of my school day. Who wants to continuously write about this? I want my stories to mean more than “who is dating who.” They need life and personal expression so I have to scratch this idea and look for something far more interesting.
2. Nothing exciting? Look beyond the material world.
If I cannot find anything interesting going on in the near vicinity, I need to look beyond myself. Focus less on what is happening in my life or community and focus more on the ideas of life. I need to find an idea in my mind, and maybe I disagree with an opinion of my own or another’s.
3. Draw a blank-then draw.
Whenever my mind is completely lacking anything needed to write a decent story, I doodle. Doodling does not take huge amounts of effort and brain power. Therefore, while doodling my mind will wander a variety of places in hopes of finding an awesome idea.
One of my very last resorts is asking others for ideas. Sometimes I resort to my mom and her busy days as a preschool principal, my stepdad and his juggling of two jobs, or my little brother and his laid back lifestyle to provide me with ideas from their own lives. Maybe even a conversation with a friend will spark an idea. You just never know. It is important to open your mind to other ideas from other people and broaden your writing spectrum.
5. Hopeless? I think not.
I can almost guarantee that after following through this list of what to do and what not to do while thinking of ideas, you should be able to have a list of more than one story to write. Making a list will help you decide which story will be the best and which to exclude. Sometimes you will begin writing a story and realize that maybe it was not the best topic. Just do this simple list over again and everything will be just fine.